Hand blown pink glass chandelier, antique clocks, vintage photographs , lithographs render the Sabyasachi store in Mumbai an old world charm.

As a child, most of my summer vacations were spent at my grandparents homes… old homes with old things..every piece had history, patina, wear. The entire family tree would be up on the wall in mismatched original frames fighting for space with large clocks , art , hindu deities and orphaned pieces of porcelain dinner sets.These heirlooms weren’t expensive “antiques” but just humble relics of my families past. Whether its my great-grandmothers dressing table or my great- granddads shaving kit , 3 generations, over a period of 100 years, preserved them. Just so that my sister and me may have a tangible connection with our family history.

Remember with great inheritance comes great responsibility …. just ask Grandma.

Unfortunately most Indians today have traded in their family hand me downs in favour of a home copy-pasted from Ikea catalogues , peppered with “indian” touches like Bollywood kitsch  or sequinned cushions. 

Its about time this Vintage Indian sensibility — “granny chic”  becomes aspirational. Here is some beautiful inspiration….

Lampshades at Sabyasachi store are deliberately left faded and dusty to evoke a bygone era.


A south indian brass urli and antique tap serve as the wash basin at Sabyasachi's store in Mumbai.

A South Indian brass urli and an antique tap continue the vintage Indian look in the washroom at the Sabyasachi store, Mumbai.

a look in side Surajit "Bomti" Iyengar's home in Kolkata.

a glimpse of Surajit "Bomti" Iyengar's bedroom featuring an antique indian four poster bed.

Vintage Indian Dresser and folk art at John Robshaws new york apartment

old school electrical points and switches at Sabyasachi's mumbai store

Old school electrical points and switches are trending everywhere these days.

Antique plates cover distempered walls

Scared of chipping your expensive antique porcelain? They’ll be super safe high up on the walls!

John Robshaws new york apartment with south indian accents

Cheat Sheet:

1) Walls: Distemper paint , tinted concrete, roughly plastered or painted in watered down muted colours.

2) Floors :Wooden flooring, patterned Cement tiles, red oxide , stone. Use vintage rugs or dhurries over your floors.

3) Go Maximalist : Curate a collection–Collect plates or black and white photographs or old mirrors or wall clocks. Display them on your walls.

Source the look: Most obviously, start by begging your parents/grandparents for their precious things.

In Mumbai start and end with Chor Bazaar. A smaller version of Chor Bazaar can be found at Oshiwara furniture market.

If you have deeper pockets and want  to buy authenticated antiques head to Phillip’s Antiques.

Delhi, Jaipur (all of Rajasthan actually) , Hyderabad , Cochin , Calcutta, Bangalore all have great flea/ anitque markets.

Credits: featured image, images 1,2, 6 of  the Sabyasachi store, Mumbai via.

images 3,4,7 of Surajit “Bomti” Iyengar’s home in Kolkata, as featured in Elle Decor.

images 5,8 of John Robshaw’s home in New York, as featured in Elle Decor.




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  • PANKAJ WADHAWAN August 20, 2013, 11:01 pm

    thank you dear for firing me up my inner ‘makazai’…..

    keep up your good work….



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